Would you like to enhance your growth, learning and wellness through partnering with equines?

If you answered YES then you might be ready to become a certified equine facilitated wellness professional!

EFW-CAN Professional Designations

EFW-CAN professionals are classified according to the following designations. Please note that regardless of professional and personal backgrounds, there is a need for specialized training and certification in equine facilitated wellness for everyone.

Mental Health Professionals (MHPs) have credentials and experience in the mental health/human services field, and are members of a professional association. They have training and experience in the field of EFW, as well as cross-training in equine behaviour and safety. These practitioners will partner with Equine Professionals (EPs) or Equine Coaches (ECs) when engaging in EFW work with clients. However, depending on their Scope of Practice and Levels of Expertise, some work with clients may be done on a one-to-one basis without the presence of an EP/EC.

Equine Facilitated Learning Professionals (EFLPs) have credentials and experience in areas such as education, nursing, life coaching, team building, leadership training, literacy training, etc., and may be members of a professional association (if applicable). They have training and experience in the field of EFW, as well as cross-training in equine behaviour and safety. These practitioners will partner with EP/ECs when engaging in EFW work with clients. However, depending on their Scope of Practice and Levels of Expertise, some work with clients may be done on a one-to-one basis without the presence of an EP.

Equine Professionals (EPs)/Equine Coaches (ECs) have credentials and experience in the realm of equines, as well as cross-training in the mental health/human services and/or education fields. These professionals may work in differing capacities with a variety of clients depending on their Scope of Practice and Levels of Expertise. They may choose among the following options:

THE ROLE OF AN EQUINE PROFESSIONAL IS:

  • To be a co-facilitator with a MHP working in the realm of mental health and related issues. These sessions may have a psychotherapeutic focus.
  • To be a co-facilitator with an EFLP working in the realm of equine facilitated learning.  EPs may do some limited individual work with clients if they have the appropriate training.
  • The Role of the Equine Coach can also be to co-facilitate and in addition  
  • To be an Equine Coach who assists individuals in deepening their connection with their equines by bringing EFW concepts, approaches and insights into their existing equine business. The EC uses the EFW approach for both recreational and competitive riding, as well as for a wide range of equine activities and exercises done on the ground. This work may be done without the presence of an MHP or EFLP. It should be noted that to be an EC, individuals must be certified in this capacity through Equine Canada or another reputable organization.

Dually Certified EFW professionals are those who meet EFW-CAN certification requirements for both the MHP and EP, or EFLP and EP designations. Tri Certified EFW professionals are those who have achieved certification in all three designations. Dually and tri certified practitioners are fully qualified to ensure the safety and well-being of both clients and equines in equine facilitated activities, and they are able to work with clients within the limits defined by their scope of practice without having another professional present. However, if they want to go beyond their scope of practice, they must partner with another EFW professional who complements their knowledge, experience and skills.

EFW-CAN Certification

The EFW-Can certification process will prepare practitioners to work as professionals specializing in the field of equine facilitated wellness. This process allows candidates to begin working in the field - within their specific scope of practice - while continuing to attend EFW-CAN trainings and expand their knowledge, skills, and competencies related to equines, mental health, and/or learning.

There are three levels of certification:

1.) EFW-CAN Professional

Single Certification:  a.) Mental Health Professional (MHP), b.) Equine Facilitated Learning Professional (EFLP), c.) Equine Professional (EP) and/or Equine Coach (EC) 

 Dual Certification:  a.) Dual certification as MHP/EFLP, b.) Dual certification as MHP/EP or EC, c.) Dual certification as EFLP/EP or EC

Tri certification:  a.)  MHP/EFLP/EP or EC

2)  EFW-CAN Mentor

3)  EFW-CAN Trainer


EFW-CAN Certification Requirements

*Certification candidates must submit an application to EFW-CAN with the certification candidate fee and provide documentation as follows:

Mental Health Professional

  •      Proof of credentialing in a mental health field (Counsellor, Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Medical Doctor with Psychotherapy training, Social Worker, Child and Youth Care Worker, and Addictions Counsellor with a University Degree. This list may be expanded in future).
  • Professional Association membership in good standing (required)
  • Equivalent of two years of experience in your field (2500 hours
  •  60 hours of cross training in equine behaviour and safety, preferably focused on horsemanship skills, equine psychology, and herd behaviour
  • A completed Equine Facilitated Wellness Skills Checklist to document competency in EFW-Can core principles as they relate to horsemanship skills
  • A current Scope of Practice statement signed by the candidate and EFW-Can
  • A current Levels of Expertise table (click to review or download table) signed by the candidate and EFW-CAN
  • An agreement to abide by EFW-CAN’s Code of Ethics signed by the candidate and EFW-CAN
  • A EFW-CAN membership in good standing
  • Payment of certification fee
  • Proof of Professional and Commercial (General) Liability insurance
  • Current Standard First Aid Certification
  • Candidates must be at least 21 years of age at the time of certification

 

Equine Facilitated Learning Professional

  • Proof of credentialing in an educational field (Teacher, Educational Assistant, Nurse, Life Coach or a related field.  This list may be expanded in future); OR   demonstrated competency of comparable skills may be accepted.
  •  Active member in good standing of a related professional association (if applicable)
  •  Equivalent of twoyears of experience in your field (2500 hours)
  • 60 hours of cross training in equine behaviour and safety, preferably focused on horsemanship skills, equine psychology, and herd behaviour
  • A completed Equine Facilitated Wellness Skills Checklist to document competency in EFW-Can core principles as they relate to horsemanship skills
  •  A current Scope of Practice statement signed by the candidate and EFW-Can
  • A current Levels of Expertise table (click to review or download table) signed by the candidate and EFW-CAN
  • An agreement to abide by EFW-CAN’s Code of Ethics signed by the candidate and EFW-CAN
  • A EFW-CAN membership in good standing
  • Payment of certification fees
  • Proof of Professional and Commercial (General) Liability insurance
  • Current Standard First Aid Certification
  • Candidates must be at least 21 years of age at the time of certification

 

Equine Coach/ Professional

  • Certification in a recognised equine program such as Equine Canada, CanTRA, Centered Riding, etc.; OR completion of a portfolio detailing one’s experience, including supporting documentation from two professionals in the equine industry
  • Active member in good standing of a related professional association (if applicable)
  • Equivalent of two years of experience in your field (2500 hours, of which at least 500 hours are ground work and/or related to horse psychology)
  • 60 hours of cross training related to the fields of mental health or education, such as counselling skills, communication skills, or facilitation skills
  • A completed Equine Facilitated Wellness Skills Checklist to document competency in EFW-Can core principles as they relate to horsemanship skills
  • A current Scope of Practice statement signed by the candidate and EFW-CAN
  • A current Levels of Expertise table (click to review or download table) signed by the candidate and EFW-CAN
  • An agreement to abide by EFW-CAN’s Code of Ethics signed by the candidate and EFW-CAN
  • A EFW-CAN membership in good standing
  • Payment of certification fees
  • Proof of Professional and Commercial (General) Liability insurance
  • Current Standard First Aid Certification
  • Candidates must be at least 21 years of age at the time of certification

If education and experience requirements are not complete, it is possible to accumulate hours and complete credentials while in the EFW-CAN certification program.


 EFW-CAN Certification Process

The certification process is a journey that will take a minimum of 2 years, with spaces in between your trainings for integration and practice. The EFW-CAN Trainers are independent from EFW-CAN and set their own prices for the 4 onsite trainings that you will attend.  Once you are a member of EFW-CAN you may apply for certification prior to taking any of the training. Please note that if you are pursuing certification, you must apply and purchase the certification package prior to attending the second part of Focus Training.

The EFW-CAN certification process will prepare practitioners to work as professionals specializing in the field of equine facilitated wellness. This process allows candidates to begin working in the field -- within their specific scope of practice -- while continuing to expand their knowledge, skills, and competencies related to equines, mental health, and/or learning.

This following list below outlines the steps required to achieve EFW-CAN certification. All certification candidates – regardless of the designation they are seeking (MHP, EFLP, or EP/EC) - will progress through the steps to ensure consistency in training across core concepts and competencies and do so in their own time frame when they are ready to take the next level of training. Please note that all are welcome to progress through Steps 1 through 4 below without enrolling in the EFW-CAN certification program.                                     


Step 1

Explorations Workshop

Duration: 30 hours

Content: EFW-CAN approved Explorations workshops will include an introduction to the field of equine facilitated wellness and will cover topics such as EFW-CAN’s philosophy, principles and ethics; the role of the equine as a sentient being; safety issues when working with equines and humans. The 30- hour introduction is offered as a combination of distance learning (on line) and on-site training.


Step 2

A) Personal Equine Facilitated Wellness Workshops or Sessions

Duration: 30 hours

Content: Attend personal development EFW workshops or sessions as a participant. This can be done in group settings, individually, or as a combination thereof. These hours do not need to be completed with a EFW-CAN professional; they may be done with an experienced equine facilitated wellness professional of the candidate’s choosing provided that the personal development work supports the EFW-CAN principle that the equine is respected and valued as a sentient being and partner. A listing of EFW-CAN certified professionals is available on the website.

15 of the 30 hours of personal development may be completed in a practice that complements the approach of equine facilitated wellness such as a workshop that provides personal development in practices such as somatic experiencing, mindfulness based stress reduction,  Focusing and other such approaches.  

B) Cross Training

Duration: 60 hours

Content: For MHP and EFLP candidates, 60 hours of cross training in equine behaviour and safety (preferably focused on horsemanship skills, equine psychology, and herd behaviour) is required. For EP/EC candidates 60 hours of related cross training in the mental health, learning, or other human services field (ex. counselling, communication skills, facilitation skills etc.) is required.


Step 3

Focus Training Part 1: Core Concepts

DURATION: 35 hours (*this portion of the training is 46 hours in Quebec)

CONTENT: Attend a EFW-CAN-approved Focus Training that teaches core EFW concepts, principles, ethics and safety considerations. This training also provides many opportunities for participants to engage in experiential exercises, interactions with the equines, practice sessions, and other experiential activities.  In addition, each participant begins to create an individualized Scope of Practice statement that includes an outline of what s/he can and cannot incorporate into his/her EFW practice as a certification candidate.

IMPORTANT – After completing the first part of Focus Training, it is optimal for candidates to allow themselves enough time to absorb, integrate and begin practicing the concepts and approaches learned in the training before completing part 2 of Focus Training.

If you are applying for certification, you must do so before attending Focus Training Part 2. Please note this training is available to those who are not interested in certification.

NB: Those in the certification stream are now eligible to apply for insurance through BFL Canada!  Certification Candidates will submit their Scope of Practice and Certification Progress Plan to their EFW-CAN Mentor/Trainer, 2 weeks before attending Focus Training Part 2 which will require 1 hour of mentorship. Your Scope of Practice will evolve after subsequent training, education, experience and practice.


Step 4

Focus Training Part 2: Scope of Practice

Duration: 35 hours (*this portion of the training is 23 hours in Quebec)

Content: Attend a EFW-CAN-approved Focus Training that further develops and explores the EFW concepts, principles, ethics and safety considerations that were outlined in week 1, and also includes practice sessions and other hands-on opportunities for participants. Participants will have outlined the areas where additional experience and/or training is needed to meet identified training and education goals in their Certification Progress Plan. Additionally, candidates complete the appropriate Levels of Expertise table (available on the EFW-CAN website on the certification page).

NB: At this level, certification candidates will only work in partnership with, or under the direct supervision of, an approved EFW-CAN mentor.  Candidates will initiate arrangements with a EFW-CAN mentor who will consult with him/her during the mentorship experience. This arrangement will be in place before candidates engage in solo work with equines and people.

NB: Integration Week must be taken with the EFW-CAN Trainer who you completed your Focus Training with.  Participation in Integration Week is limited to certification candidates who have completed a minimum of 15 hours of direct client contact in EFW and 2 hours of mentoring with a EFW-CAN Mentor.  Attendance for people who are not in the EFW-CAN certification process is at the discretion of the EFW-CAN Trainer.


Step 5

Integration Week

Duration: 35 hours

Content: Attend an EFW-CAN-approved Integration Week. This week provides candidates the opportunity to integrate all of their EFW knowledge, experience and skills into their particular area of study. Candidates ensure that their professional requirements (ex. confidentiality, compliance with relevant ethical codes, record keeping, etc.) are being met. In addition, each participant updates his/her Scope of Practice and Certification Progress Plan, outlining the areas where additional experience and/or training is needed to meet identified training and education goals.  


Step 6

Mentorship and Practice Hours

Mentorship and practice requirements are two different categories: 1)  10 hours of mentorship with a EFW-CAN mentor, and

2) 85 hours of direct client contact practicing EFW either in the field of mental health, learning or EFW coaching.

Mentorship:

1)    Ten (10) hours of mentorship with a EFW-CAN mentor includes three (3) components:

a)    Two hours of mentorship with a EFW-CAN mentor before you attend Integration Week.

b)    Four Session Evaluations:  A EFW-CAN mentor will review, discuss and approve four (4) EFW

Session Evaluations which you have prepared for this portion of your certification requirement. 

c)     Any of the remaining 10 mentorship hours with a EFW-CAN mentor will be for additional session evaluations, case consultations, discussing difficult clients and/or reviewing your Scope of Practice.

These 10 mentorship hours do not include reviewing the EFW Skills Checklist or your certification application

*NB: At the request of the certification candidate or at the discretion of the EFW-CAN mentor, more than ten hours may be required to meet certification requirements.

Please note that your EFW-CAN mentor does not have to be present during sessions; mentorship hours with your EFW-CAN mentor may be completed in person, by phone, Skype or video conference and can be supported with email contact.

Practice Hours:

Eighty-five (85) hours of direct client contact practicing Equine Facilitated Wellness:

These hours may be in partnership with or under the supervision of a EFW-CAN mentor; with another EFW-CAN certification candidate; on your own (within your Scope of Practice); or with a peer mentor.

The 85 hours of practice may include:

·      up to 20 hours assisting a EFW-CAN professional with group facilitation during workshops or training. (NB: Only time spent facilitating may be counted).

·      up to 15 hours in practice sessions with other EFW-CAN certification candidates or peer mentors.  

·      the remaining practice hours must be direct client contact in EFW sessions, either individual or group. Client contact hours do not include planning, debriefing or note taking.

Please note that your mentor does not have to be present during sessions.


Step 7

Recommendation for Certification as a EFW-CAN Professional

Once you have completed all of the required training and compiled your documentation, your mentor will make an attestation and recommendation for your certification on your Final Certification Review Form. Please carefully review the Certification Requirements table for your specific area(s) to ensure you have enclosed all of the necessary documentation. You will then submit your complete certification package to the EFW-CAN Certification Review Committee. Please note that the complete certification package must be in a file that can be emailed to info@equinefacilitatedwellness.org. (We recommend saving them in Dropbox). If you wish to send a hard copy, two complete certification packages must be mailed to the head office.  The video clips are to be saved on two different memory sticks and included in the mail in package.

After you apply for EFW-CAN Certification  a package that will be sent to you will contain the following:

1.              EFW Skills Checklist:  This checklist outlines skills that will be needed in order to safely and ethically practice in the field of equine facilitated wellness. Skills fall into five main categories: safety, horsemanship, equine management, creating a safe space, and equine facilitated wellness. Short written and video submissions are also required to demonstrate competence in some of these areas. The skills you are required to have will vary depending on what designation you are seeking: MHP, EFLP, or EP/EC. For example, an individual applying for the MHP designation will not be required to have all of the equine skills that someone applying for the EP/EC designation would need.

2.              Mentorship and Practice Hours Form:  To help you keep track of your practice and mentorship hours. Your mentor must sign off on time spent with him/her.

3.              Session Evaluation Form:  Four session evaluations must be submitted to a EFW-Can Mentor to complete the requirement of mentorship and supervision. 

4.              Scope of Practice Checklist:  This document will outline your personal scope of practice in the field of equine facilitated wellness.

5.              Certification Requirements (for the MHP, EFLP and EP/EC, specific to the areas you have applied for): This table helps you keep track of certification you can review it at the top of this page

Final Certification Review Form

Congratulations! You are now able to practice EFW within your scope of practice


 Maintaining Certification

Ongoing

In order to maintain EFW-CAN certification and remain on the website list of EFW-CAN professionals, individuals are required to:

  • Participate in 20 hours of education related to equine facilitated wellness every three years. Records of this education must be submitted to the EFW-CAN office
  • Maintain a signed agreement indicating you will continue to abide by EFW-CAN’s Code of Ethics.
  • Update Scope of Practice Agreements as changes occur, or at a minimum of every two years
  • Maintain a EFW-CAN membership
  • Maintain professional credentials and memberships as applicable
  • Demonstrate ongoing proof of insurance
  • Maintain your Standard First Aid Certification

 Certification As An EFW-CAN Professional

Dual or Tri Certified professionals will meet the requirements for the corresponding designation using the EFW-CAN Level of Expertise system

      Potential EFW-CAN Mentors Must:

·      Be fully certified by EFW-CAN (or have equivalent qualifications) in the area/s in which they would like to provide mentorship

·      Show a minimum of 1,000 hours of active EFW practice and be recommended by a EFW-CAN Trainer

·      Be able to show prior experience and/ or training in the supervision or mentoring of other professionals

·      Have a Scope of Practice that encompasses that of the mentee in the areas mentorship is being sought

·      120 hours of mentorship is needed, at least 20 hours are to be with a EFW-CAN mentor; the remaining hours may be with a team of peer mentors who together meet the mentee's scope of practice requirements.  For example, they may have a different peer mentor(s) on the equine side, the mental health side, and/or the learning professional side and one to guide them through the EFW-CAN process. 

      Trainer:  (Under Development)